France

Former minister in custody over rape case

AFP/LIONEL BONAVENTURE

French former minister Georges Tron was arrested on Monday and remanded in custody for questioning by police over allegations of rape.

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Georges Tron resigned from his post as junior civil service minister last month when two women, who worked in the Town Hall where he is mayor, accused him of sexual assault.

A source close to the investigation said a third accuser "also recently brought charges" against Tron.

Tron denies all the allegations and has not yet been charged in the case.

The first two accusers allege that Tron forced them to let him administer foot massages, which led to forced sexual encounters.

Tron has an interest in alternative therapies and had learned the art of foot massage.

A source close to the investigation told the French news agency AFP that Tron would be questioned alongside all three accusers, a judicial procedure whereby investigators allow all parties to challenge each other's claims.

Investigators have also detained another employee from the Town Hall in Draveil south of Paris.

Tron's resignation from Nicolas Sarkozy's centre-right government on 29 May came amid a wave of soul-searching over sex and secrecy in public life, following the arrest of French IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York, on charges of sexual assault and attempted rape.

Tron maintains that his political rivals are trying to engineer his downfall.
 

 

 

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